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Tours

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Meet the Director

About the Whitney

As the preeminent institution devoted to the art of the United States, the Whitney Museum of American Art presents the full range of twentieth-century and contemporary American art, with a special focus on works by living artists. The Whitney is dedicated to collecting, preserving, interpreting, and exhibiting American art, and its collection—arguably the finest holdings of twentieth-century American art in the world—is the Museum's key resource. The Museum's flagship exhibition, the Biennial, is the country's leading survey of the most recent developments in American art.

Innovation has been a hallmark of the Whitney since its beginnings. It was the first museum dedicated to the work of living American artists and the first New York museum to present a major exhibition of a video artist (Nam June Paik, in 1982). Such important figures as Jasper Johns, Jay DeFeo, Glenn Ligon, Cindy Sherman, and Paul Thek were given their first comprehensive museum surveys at the Whitney. The Museum has consistently purchased works within the year they were created, often well before the artists who created them became broadly recognized.

Designed by architect Renzo Piano and situated between the High Line and the Hudson River, the Whitney's current building vastly increases the Museum’s exhibition and programming space, providing the most expansive view ever of its unsurpassed collection of modern and contemporary American art.

Where We Are

Solo en Inglès

Hear directly from artists and curators on selected works from Where We Are: Selections from the Whitney’s Collection, 1900–1960.

Roy Lichtenstein, Bathroom, 1961

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Mark Joshua Epstein: We are looking at a 1961 painting by Roy Lichtenstein called Bathroom

Student 1: It's kind of random, like most people in their house have a bathroom, and why would you paint it is my feeling.

Student 2: I think the object of this painting is just to show everyday, daily things that you see in life, and just to represent what their purpose is.

Student 3: Well, I'm wondering why there's a copyrighted sign on the bottom left corner.

Student 4: Well, it looks sort of like it was drawn in a cartoon style.

Mark Joshua Epstein: Roy Lichtenstein was a Pop artist, which meant that he was really inspired by things from popular culture. One of the reasons this might have a copyright sign on it is because it was taken from a brochure or some kind of advertisement about a bathroom. If you were going to create a work of art now and you were going to take inspiration from something in popular culture, what could it be?

Student 1: I think maybe a landscape, because in magazines and advertisements, you always see these beautiful landscapes.

Student 2: This might sound a little odd, but I'm kind of interested in facial hair. Maybe you can draw a picture of a mustache in a certain action.

Student 3: I would probably draw a plant or a flower because there's so many different variations, and they're very fun to draw.

A pop art rendition of a bathroom.

Mark Joshua Epstein: We are looking at a 1961 painting by Roy Lichtenstein called Bathroom

Student 1: It's kind of random, like most people in their house have a bathroom, and why would you paint it is my feeling.

Student 2: I think the object of this painting is just to show everyday, daily things that you see in life, and just to represent what their purpose is.

Student 3: Well, I'm wondering why there's a copyrighted sign on the bottom left corner.

Student 4: Well, it looks sort of like it was drawn in a cartoon style.

Mark Joshua Epstein: Roy Lichtenstein was a Pop artist, which meant that he was really inspired by things from popular culture. One of the reasons this might have a copyright sign on it is because it was taken from a brochure or some kind of advertisement about a bathroom. If you were going to create a work of art now and you were going to take inspiration from something in popular culture, what could it be?

Student 1: I think maybe a landscape, because in magazines and advertisements, you always see these beautiful landscapes.

Student 2: This might sound a little odd, but I'm kind of interested in facial hair. Maybe you can draw a picture of a mustache in a certain action.

Student 3: I would probably draw a plant or a flower because there's so many different variations, and they're very fun to draw.


Roy Lichtenstein, Bathroom, 1961. Oil on canvas, 45 3/4 x 69 3/8in. (116.2 x 176.2 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art; Gift of The American Contemporary Art Foundation, Inc., Leonard A. Lauder, President 2002.253 © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein